You likely already know what a successful trade show exhibit is worth to you; we’ve written before about how custom trade show booth rentals hook an audience. The more new qualified leads you obtain, and the more interest your exhibit sparks in your product or brand among trade show attendees, the higher the return on your investment. However, the question remains: What does it cost? While each company’s particular needs and circumstances are unique, here are some useful price ranges to consider:
Trade Show Booth Rental Costs
All trade show exhibit spaces come in the form of either islands, peninsulas, or linear spaces lined up against a wall or in a row. Islands and peninsulas are measured in square feet; linear booth spaces are measured in linear feet. At the present time, you can expect to pay an industry-wide average of roughly anywhere from $75 to $100 per square foot to rent an island or peninsula exhibit. For a linear exhibit, the range runs from $750 to $1,000 per linear foot. Within the exhibit design industry, linear spaces are usually calculated at an assumed ten-foot depth. The below charts give some ballpark figures for exhibition space rental costs, both on the low end and the high end of the spectrum, for island space and linear space:
ISLAND BOOTH RENTAL
|Per square foot||$75||$100|
|Sample 20×20 booth||$30,000||$40,000|
LINEAR BOOTH RENTAL
|Per linear foot||$750||$1,000|
|Sample 10×20 booth||$15,000||$20,000|
Bear in mind that this is just the cost to rent the exhibit from the appropriate party, which is often is a nationally recognized exhibit and event company. As a general rule of thumb, space rental costs should take up roughly a third of your exhibit budget. To get a rough estimate of the total cost of your trade show rental booth, multiply your space rental costs by three. If renting the space for your island exhibit will cost you $20,000, in other words, you should plan on spending roughly $60,000 for your total show budget.
Trade Show Booth Rental Costs: The Exhibit
Unless you plan to design and build your booth yourself, and to fabricate and print your graphics in-house, you’ll want to rely on the services of a professional trade show and event marketing partner like ProExhibits. A professional exhibit company will handle the exhibit design and construction, plus the graphic design and construction; exact services vary by company and by contract, but will also likely include trade show marketing and exhibit shipping, transportation, and installation. Services contributing to your total show costs that your exhibit design company is not likely to handle include travel and hotel arrangements, which will be managed on your end, and special show services, such as rigging, which will most likely be handled by the trade show’s general contractor.
Trade Show Booth Rental Costs: The Variables
All of these figures are, of course, rough averages. The cost of your trade show rental booth will hinge upon your particular requirements. Special design elements such as video walls or unusually large or irregularly-shaped customized graphics will most likely drive your costs upward; if these aspects are important to your design concept, make sure to budget accordingly. The more uniquely customized elements present in your exhibit design, the higher your total booth costs are likely to be.
If your budget is a challenge, your exhibit design company can help you explore ways to lower costs. Using lightweight structural materials, such as aluminum, is one way to reduce exhibit operating expenses. Another approach is to opt for a lower level of customization by choosing a mostly prefabricated structure and customizing it with graphics and lower-cost design elements. Your exhibit designer can give you a range of options and help you make the biggest possible impact for your budget.
Trade Show Booth Rental Costs: The Process
When you contact an exhibit design company for help planning your exhibit, you’ll consult with a creative director, who will come up with a brief on the scope of work. After this, the design process will begin in earnest. Before any construction takes place, you’ll have the chance to review and approve the design. Most likely, you’ll be shown a three-dimensional rendering of the proposed exhibit to give you a very clear idea of what it will look like from every conceivable angle. Following your approval, the creation of your exhibit will begin, with a team of professionals working from your approved brief.
Trade Show Booth Rental Costs: The Return on Investment
When planning your trade show exhibit, it’s important to clarify your goals in advance, so you’ll know whether your display can be considered a success relative to your investment. The return on investment—ROI—is a measurement of the amount of profit on an investment compared to the total costs. ROI can be calculated as a percentage by subtracting the marketing expenses from the profit, then dividing that figure by the expenses. Figuring out the precise ROI of your trade show exhibit can be a complicated matter, as trade show success is often measured in ways that are difficult to quantify. While tracking the number of sales or leads acquired directly as the result of a trade show appearance might be a straightforward process, trade show success is often also calculated in more abstract yet equally vital ways, such as by the number of industry contacts made or the amount of media coverage or brand awareness generated by the exhibit.
To make an impact at a trade show, you’ll need a well-designed custom display that delivers your brand’s message or product to the right audience. While there are significant costs involved, the return on your investment can make it all worthwhile. A professional exhibit design company can work with you—and your budget—to design a trade show rental booth that’s worth every penny.
Whatever your exhibiting plans, the sooner you get the ball rolling, the better. We’d like to hear about your event calendar and your goals for each event. ProExhibits has helped brands reach their exhibiting goals with award-winning designs for more than 30 years. Contact us today.